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Religiosity and Severity of Symptoms in Croatian Patients With Major Depressive Disorder or Schizophrenia

Kos, Lana, MD*; Šagud, Marina, MD, PhD; Mihaljević-Peleš, Alma, MD, PhD; Kutleša, Mislav, PhD; Kovač, Tomislav, PhD§; Trkulja, Vladimir, MD, PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: June 2019 - Volume 207 - Issue 6 - p 515–522
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001003
Original Articles
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We examined and compared the relationship between religiosity and symptom severity in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) rated by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale) and schizophrenia (rated by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale). The Duke University Religion Index, the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith (SCSORF) questionnaire, and the Brief Religious Coping scale scores were similar between patients with MDD (n = 50) and patients with schizophrenia (n = 50). In patients with MDD, higher organizational religious activity (ORA) (estimate = 2.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.37–4.19; p = 0.020) and higher negative religious coping (estimate = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.03–0.84; p = 0.037) were independently associated with more severe symptoms. In patients with schizophrenia, higher ORA was associated with lower negative symptoms (estimate = −1.99, 95% CI = −3.94 to −0.03; p = 0.046). Higher SCSORF was associated with lower ORA in both patient subsets, and thus indirectly with milder symptoms in patients with MDD and with more severe negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. The relationship between religiosity and symptom severity apparently differs in patients with MDD and those with schizophrenia.

*Department of Psychiatry, County General Hospital Pula, Pula;

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Center Zagreb and School of Medicine,

Department of Moral Theology, Catholic Faculty of Theology, and

§Department of Fundamental Theology, Catholic Faculty of Theology, Zagreb University; and

Department of Pharmacology, Zagreb University School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia.

Send reprint requests to Marina Šagud, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Kišpatićeva 12, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. E-mail: MarinaSagud@mail.com.

Online date: May 3, 2019

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